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EffexorMeNoMore - Tapering off 225mg Effexor


EffexorMeNoMore

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Hey all!

 

I'm a 24 year old female from the Seattle area, going to school for microbiology. I grew up in a (fairly) stable home the oldest of 5 kids and a history of major depression disorder in the family (mom's side). Mom has been on effexor for about 5 or 6 years and is on 75mg. One sister (19 yo) is on Wellbutrin for depression, and another sister (16.5 yo) is on Zoloft for OCD related to Tourette's Syndrome. Whew. Fun, right? Grew up with not a great body image as mom cast her lack of self-image onto me from a young age (weighing myself at age 7?? wtf, mom?), and I'm pretty sure this was a major player in the depression/anxiety arena for me. Started exhibiting depression symptoms around age 17 and was finally put on effexor (starting at 75mg) when I was barely 20 and also began seeing a mental health counselor on recommendation from doc. Went up to 150mg when 75 wasn't enough, and then doc referred me to a psychiatrist who upped me to 225mg which seemed to work best. I haven't had any problems while ON the medication, but I know these drugs aren't meant to be permanent and my life has changed a lot since then, as well. I had a sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve weightloss surgery) in March of 2011 and have lost nearly 100 lbs. Not to say that losing weight is a magic trick that makes everything better, but it is a huge help to be sure. I am getting married this year and want to be able to start a family in the near future and I want to be drug free.

 

I saw a doctor today in order to begin the tapering process. He is suggesting going from 225 to 200 for one week, then to 175 for a week, et al until I get to the lower doses and then slow down the tapering. After trolling around on this forum a bit this evening, though, I'm wondering if that taper is too fast? This is the first time I've attempted quitting, but I know what withdrawal disorder feels like (I've missed doses here and there before by accident), and it sucks.

 

Long story short, I'm nervous, excited, and kind of scared. My fiance' is amazing and is here for me every step of the way...I'm just hoping I don't bite his head off in the process! ;)

 

I'm starting the taper Monday. Doing this with support is the only way I would know how to do it.

 

Thanks for any advice in advance! :)

 

-EffexorMeNoMore

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  • Administrator

Welcome, EMNM. Thanks for joining us.

 

Are you taking regular Effexor or Effexor XR?

 

We advocate a 10% taper per month, quite a bit slower than your doctor. How about trying a 10% taper for 2 months, if you get no withdrawal symptoms, you can speed this up?

 

We suggest a very gradual taper to preserve your nervous system. Withdrawal symptoms are a sign of a nervous system in distress. If they get too bad, it can take a long time to recover. Slow is safer, you've only got one nervous system!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi EMNM. Welcome. Congrats on a new chapter of your life!

 

Your comment about a "(fairly) stable home" struck home with me. It's good that you're acknowledging the challenges that were present early on. It took me a long time to recognize that my home looked "normal" but contained much dysfunction that affected me from an early age.

You're in a good place.

B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Thank you for the welcome, guys.

 

Alto - I've been on Effexor XR for the past 4 years, but my doc prescribed the regular tabs so that I can more easily taper by cutting the pills in pieces, etc.

 

I think the 10% a month idea is probably a better idea than the pace my doc has prescribed. I want to be able to be NORMAL (i.e., the same way I feel now, except minus the drugs). I feel like I am in a very stable state of mind, and I don't want to lose that when I'm off the drugs. I know my brain can adapt and recoup if I slowly taper off the meds so that my brain can start figuring it out on its own. It's like physical therapy for my brain after wearing leg braces for several years...I think?

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  • Administrator

Good idea, cutting the tabs in pieces.

 

Have you made the switch from XR to regular Effexor yet?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Good idea, cutting the tabs in pieces.

 

Have you made the switch from XR to regular Effexor yet?

 

No, I'm starting on Monday. Any tips?

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  • Administrator

Hi and welcome to the forum!

 

First I would just switch from Effexor XR to Effexor Regular and give that up to 4 weeks to make sure there are no adverse affects due to changing the media of your meds.

 

I was at 375 mg Effexor at one time and I was able to drop by 37.5 mg or half a 75 mg tablet initially, but you are probably better off to get a jeweler's scale and cut up the regular Effexor pills so that you can drop by just 10% at a time. I found that in the beginning of my taper I didn't feel much when I decremented. But you might feel a little off, you may have some night sweats and you might feel some mild anxiety for the first 4 days. The symptoms should be mild and pass. Give yourself time after that to allow your CNS to stabilize.

 

I highly recommend keeping a journal of your symptoms as you begin your taper ... http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1779-rate-symptoms-daily-to-catch-withdrawal-early/ that will give you early warning that you are having symptoms. You should hold if you have symptoms.

 

There are a lot of us weaning off of Effexor here, so you'll have plenty of good support. You have plenty of time to start your family, please have patience and give yourself time to successfully come off of this med.

 

Love and light,

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg; 12/17 - 75mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

EMNM, what has your doctor told you about switching to regular Effexor?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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EMNM, what has your doctor told you about switching to regular Effexor?

 

No, my doc has not told me about switching to regular effexor except that I have to take the dose twice a day, as it has a short half-life. I have a feeling most gen. practitioners have no idea what the hell they're doing when it comes to psych meds.

 

Hi and welcome to the forum!

 

First I would just switch from Effexor XR to Effexor Regular and give that up to 4 weeks to make sure there are no adverse affects due to changing the media of your meds.

 

I was at 375 mg Effexor at one time and I was able to drop by 37.5 mg or half a 75 mg tablet initially, but you are probably better off to get a jeweler's scale and cut up the regular Effexor pills so that you can drop by just 10% at a time. I found that in the beginning of my taper I didn't feel much when I decremented. But you might feel a little off, you may have some night sweats and you might feel some mild anxiety for the first 4 days. The symptoms should be mild and pass. Give yourself time after that to allow your CNS to stabilize.

 

I highly recommend keeping a journal of your symptoms as you begin your taper ... http://survivinganti...thdrawal-early/ that will give you early warning that you are having symptoms. You should hold if you have symptoms.

 

There are a lot of us weaning off of Effexor here, so you'll have plenty of good support. You have plenty of time to start your family, please have patience and give yourself time to successfully come off of this med.

 

Love and light,

Karma

 

I noticed a lot of people are tapering Effexor here, and that gave me a ton of encouragement. I've read a lot of the threads relating to tapering Effexor, and you guys all have excellent advice. I'm thinking about buying a jeweler's scale, too, as the measurements are going to get funky. :P

 

Journaling is an excellent idea, and my fiance' and I were talking about doing that so as to keep a close eye on any symptoms.

 

Started my first reg. Effexor dose tonight (as I had been taking my XR at night before bed), and I'm planning on taking the next dose tomorrow morning at 8:30am (12 hrs after the 1st dose).

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  • Administrator

Right, you have to take it twice a day. Your doctor knows about that at least!

 

Good to hear your fiance is supportive. bubbles started a topic about preparing to taper here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1789-preparing-to-taper/page__p__17222__hl__preparing__fromsearch__1#entry17222

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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